The world’s first not-for-profit mobile grocery in support of asylum seekers is making its debut in Melbourne this week.
The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre is taking to the streets to support Victoria’s 10,000 asylum seekers. It is providing them the most basic and essential means to put together a healthy meal. By offering locally sourced produce to asylum seekers at 75 per cent off the market price, the Food Justice Truck is trying to deal with, as well as raise awareness of, the problem of food insecurity for asylum seekers living in the community.
The mobile grocer offers vegetables, bread, legumes, tea and fresh fruit, and is already being recognised for its ethical initiative and portable-design concept. The truck relies on the patronage of the wider community (who pay market price) in order to continue offering discounted produce to asylum-seeker customers.
“The Food Justice Truck enables the most vulnerable people to buy $80 worth of fresh food for only $20,” explains ASRC founder and CEO, Kon Karapanagiotidis. “That's a life-changing discount and a game-changing social enterprise model."
Victoria is home to the largest population of asylum seekers in Australia, 70 per cent of whom run out of food weekly, but the concept of discounted produce over outright charity preserves the dignity of those who can’t always afford to feed their families.
It’s also completely community-orientated. It is funded by a 900-strong crowdfunding campaign, sources goods from local producers and depends on ongoing interest and engagement from the general public. The Food Justice Truck is tangibly encouraging participatory grassroots change.
It’s a win-win for everyone who gets involved.
The Food Justice Truck
Hours and locations
Thomastown: Tuesdays from 3pm–7pm at Thomastown Primary School, Spring Street (enter via High Street or Stewart Street).
CBD: Wednesdays from 3pm–7pm at Wesley Uniting Church, 148 Lonsdale Street.
Footscray: Fridays from 3pm–7pm at Footscray Primary School, corner of Geelong Road and Barkly Street.
The Food Justice Truck launches at City Square, Swanston Street on Wednesday August 12, from 11am–1pm. Openings in Dandenong and Brimbank will be announced soon.